Dr. P. Senthil Kumar received B.Sc and M.Sc degrees from University of Madras and Ph.D from Osmania University. Dr. Kumar is currently a Principal Scientist at National Geophysical Research Institute in Hyderabad. Dr. Kumar’s research areas include planetary geology (Moon, Mars and Venus), meteorite impact cratering, continental crustal thermal structure, Precambrian geology and tectonics, and application of near-surface geophysics in groundwater exploration. He started a new research activity of planetary geology at National Geophysical Research Institute in 2004 and that is now developed into a promising new research group. He is systematically studying the meteorite impact structures on Earth and other planets (Mars, Venus and the Moon) to understand the shock-induced impact deformation, fragmentation of target rocks and the role of pre-impact structures on the final crater shapes. He elucidates the geologic history of planetary surfaces through a detailed digital geological mapping using various orbiter and rover datasets and the state-of-the-art image processing and geographic information systems. For example, his geologic map of Lada Terra Quadrangle in the Venus' southern hemisphere has been prepared at 1:5,000,000 and published jointly by NASA and USGS. He is also a co-investigator of a NASA project on the geologic mapping of Valles Marineris, Mars. His research projects on Moon and Mars funded by ISRO has yielded many new research findings such as central mound secondary craters, gullies and landslides, lobate scarps and seismically produced boulders tracks. His work on Deccan basalt province as a terrestrial analogue of Mars has yielded many new results and useful comparisons to landscapes and geologic processes on Mars. He actively participates in the studies of data obtained/to be obtained by Chandrayaan-1 and 2 and Mars Orbiter Mission of ISRO.
Prior to his entry to planetary studies, he established a large database and knowledge of how radioactive heat producing elements distributed in the continental lithosphere of the Indian Shield and quantified the amount of heat contributed by the crustal radioactivity to the overall surface heat flow. In addition, he contributed to the development of near surface geophysical studies in the application of ground water exploration and other mineral exploration studies.
He has been a recipient of IGU Krishnan Gold Medal, INSA Young Scientist Medal and the Associate of the Indian Academy of Sciences, in addition to other professional recognitions.
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Page Last Updated On : 17-09-2019